Pompey return for Dicko

Former Pompey full-back Carl Dickinson

Former Pompey full-back Carl Dickinson

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Carl Dickinson today made a shock Pompey return.

The Watford left-back has joined on a month-long loan move in time for tomorrow’s visit to Stevenage.

Dickinson spent the 2010-11 campaign with the Blues under then boss Steve Cotterill, making 39 appearances.

And the defender was back at Eastleigh for training this morning.

He will replace Jordan Obita in Michael Appleton’s 20-man squad following the young winger’s return to Reading at the end of his latest loan period.

Dickinson has been out of favour at Vicarage Road this season.

His last appearance for Gianfranco Zola’s men was in a 5-1 defeat at Derby on September 1.

Appleton has targeted strengthening the left-back spot, with Jon Harley creating more of an impression higher up the pitch.

Mustapha Dumbuya featured there in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Shrewsbury.

However, he is naturally right footed.

Another who has served in that role in recent weeks is Adam Webster – although he is absent for tomorrow’s trip to Broadhall Way because of England under-18 duties.

Regardless, Appleton has voiced his desire to rest the youngster after a recent run in the side.

That opens the door for Dickinson to join on an initial month’s loan, which starts with tough trips to promotion-chasing Stevenage and Sheffield United.

Pompey are hoping the 25-year-old’s whole-hearted and competitive nature can provide added grit and experience to their defensive unit.

Despite such qualities, however, news of his return to Fratton Park will no doubt prompt a mixed response from Pompey fans who remember his previous spell.

On that occasion he joined on loan from Stoke for the entire season, although struggled to convince some supporters of his quality.

Nonetheless, he was largely a regular under Cotterill.

Following that campaign he moved to Watford in a £250,000 transfer, going on to make 41 appearances that term.

In the process, he lined-up against the Blues twice, including Appleton’s first match in charge during a Vicarage Road visit in November 2011.

Now he has agreed to a second loan spell on the south coast and has been pencilled in to start the game at Stevenage.

Meanwhile, fellow defender Webster yesterday joined-up with the England under-18 squad for the first time.

The West Wittering youngster had been sounded out three times previously by manager Noel Blake, yet Appleton had to turn them down.

But the versatile defender has now been given the green light to be part of the England squad to take on Italy in Mansfield on Wednesday night.